Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Evidence suggests that tasers KILL police officers (*)

(* Note - Post title is dripping with sarcasm...)

An opinion (which can be traced to having originated from Taser International):
(it's Taser's latest claim - their previous claims have all been shredded too.)

Charles Momy, president of Canadian Police Association said, "...[tasers] certainly enhance ...officer safety." [LINK]

The facts:
Officer deaths in Canada are UP (by 4x) coincident with the spread of tasers. This is a fact.

Tasers really started to become more common beginning in about 2003. Violent deaths of police officers in Canada (excluding accidents) has skyrocketed by a four-to-one ratio starting exactly then. See graphic below. Back-up and source links can be found here [LINK] and here [LINK].

The evidence, taken at face value, suggests that tasers are actually killing police officers in Canada. Of course that's not true, but it's no sillier a claim than Taser's.

(By the way - taser-associated deaths in North America also jumped to a higher rate begining in 2003 coincident with the introduction of the X26 taser. And studies of Coroners' Reports indicate that 27% to 37% of those taser-associated deaths had some link to the taser usage.)

What has obviously helped to save police lives (I'm being serious here) is the vast increase in public scrutiny starting in late-2007, when four or five people in Canada died after being tasered. Police deaths have gone to zero, and stayed there all through 2008 (!), within a few weeks of Mr. Dziekanski's killing.

Something changed and changed hard within the policing community. Maybe this was when police in Canada first began to grasp that they've been sold a bill of goods on taser safety. And so they naturally started using more old-school de-escalation techniques and using less tasers. Taser usage statistics showed a sudden sharp decline in many localities, and officials couldn't explain it.

I can explain it. Four or five people in Canada dropping dead after being tasered during late-2007 can make an impression.

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